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Chapter 1314 Raises Money for Disaster Relief through Fly Mart

First Fall Foliage Fly Mart raises $500

By Ti Windisch

October 12, 2017 - EAA Chapter 1314 may not be the biggest chapter in the world, but like many EAA members, when Chapter 1314 members saw an opportunity to help those who truly needed it, they knew they had to take action.

Chapter 1314 Secretary Leonard Weiser, EAA 463781, came up with the idea of doing the Fall Foliage Fly Mart due to his experiences as a homebuilder, and knowing cold weather and snow make it easier to build than to fly in New Hampshire.

“I said to myself since I’m a builder, I do most of my building in the winter,” Leonard said. “Wouldn’t it be great for builders and enthusiasts to pick up something at the end of the flying season, just as the building season begins?”

When Leonard let Chapter 1314 President Warren Hurd, EAA 599234, know about his idea, he thought it was a great one, especially when the pair came up with the charitable aspect after looking at the devastation that hit Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

“Initially we figured it would be a good event for the chapter,” Leonard said. “This year we had hurricanes and the earthquake in Mexico, and we figured why not make it a charity event.”

Leonard and Warren certainly wanted a big turnout in terms of buyers, but they focused on making sure there would be enough items for sale more than anything, resulting in somewhere around 1,000 aviation-related items available at the fly mart, which took place at Keene Dillant-Hopkins Airport (KEEN) in New Hampshire.

The fly mart included homebuilding parts, tools, posters, T-shirts, books, toys, and more. The event raised about $250 and the chapter matched that amount in its total donation to the Red Cross.

Leonard said the chapter will soon meet to determine the future of the event, and Warren added that the success of this first fly mart is a building block for Chapter 1314.

“It seems like it could be the first of multiple ones,” Warren said.

A few prospective new members expressed interest in joining Chapter 1314 at the event, and according to Warren the storytelling between aviation lovers there was the best part of an all-around great fly mart.

Leonard said attending an EAA Chapter Boot Camp inspired their leadership team to think outside of the box, and this event is an example of how EAA chapters are about more than just aviation.

“It not only is a good thing for the Red Cross, but it also puts a positive light on aviation organizations,” he said. “We’re not just fueling our own hobbies here.”

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